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Energy

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  1. 9.9 hrs • 5/24/2016 • Unabridged

    The incredible tale of how ambitious oil rivals Marcus Samuel Jr. and Henri Deterding joined forces to topple the Standard Oil empire Marcus Samuel Jr. is an unorthodox Jewish merchant trader. Henri Deterding is a take-no-prisoners oilman. In 1889, John D. Rockefeller is at the peak of his power. Having annihilated all competition and possessing near-total domination of the market, even the US government is wary of challenging the great “anaconda” of Standard Oil. The Standard never loses—that is until Samuel and Deterding team up to form Royal Dutch Shell. A riveting account of ambition, oil, and greed, Breaking Rockefeller traces Samuel’s rise from outsider to the heights of the British aristocracy, Deterding’s conquest of America, and the collapse of Rockefeller’s monopoly. The beginning of the twentieth century is a time when vast fortunes were made and lost. Taking readers through the rough and tumble of East London’s streets, the twilight turmoil of czarist Russia, to the halls of the British Parliament, and right down Broadway in New York City, Peter Doran offers a richly detailed, fresh perspective on how Samuel and Deterding beat the world’s richest man at his own game.

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    Breaking Rockefeller

    9.9 hrs • 5/24/16 • Unabridged
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  2. 10.6 hrs • 12/1/2015 • Unabridged

    From the front lines of the fracking debate, a “field philosopher” explores one of our most divisive technologies. When philosophy professor Adam Briggle moved to Denton, Texas, he had never heard of fracking. Only five years later he would successfully lead a citizens’ initiative to ban hydraulic fracturing in Denton, the first Texas town to challenge the oil and gas industry. On his journey to learn about fracking and its effects, he leaped from the ivory tower into the fray. In beautifully narrated chapters, Briggle brings us to town hall debates and neighborhood meetings where citizens wrestle with issues few fully understand. Is fracking safe? How does it affect the local economy? Why are bakeries prohibited in neighborhoods while gas wells are permitted next to playgrounds? In his quest for answers Briggle meets people like Cathy McMullen. Her neighbors’ cows asphyxiated after drinking fracking fluids, and her orchard was razed to make way for a pipeline. Cathy did not consent to drilling, but those who profited lived far out of harm’s way. Briggle’s first instinct was to think about fracking, deeply. Drawing on philosophers from Socrates to Kant, but also on conversations with engineers, legislators, and industry representatives, he develops a simple theory to evaluate fracking: we should give those at risk to harm a stake in the decisions we make, and we should monitor for and correct any problems that arise. Finding this regulatory process short-circuited, and with government and industry alike turning a blind eye to symptoms like earthquakes and nosebleeds, Briggle decides to take action. Though our field philosopher is initially out of his element, joining fierce activists like “Texas Sharon,” once called the “worst enemy” of the oil and gas industry, his story culminates in an underdog victory for Denton, now nationally recognized as a beacon for citizens’ rights at the epicenter of the fracking revolution.

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    A Field Philosopher’s Guide to Fracking by Adam Briggle

    A Field Philosopher’s Guide to Fracking

    10.6 hrs • 12/1/15 • Unabridged
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  3. 0 reviews 0 5 2 2 out of 5 stars 2/5
    11.3 hrs • 9/4/2015 • Unabridged

    For more than a century, the interplay between private, investor-owned electric utilities and government regulators has shaped the electric power industry in the United States. Provision of an essential service to largely dependent consumers invited government oversight and ever more sophisticated market intervention. The industry has sought to manage, co-opt, and profit from government regulation. In The Power Brokers, Jeremiah Lambert maps this complex interaction from the late nineteenth century to the present day. Lambert’s narrative focuses on seven important industry players: Samuel Insull, the principal industry architect and prime mover; David Lilienthal, chairman of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), who waged a desperate battle for market share; Don Hodel, who presided over the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) in its failed attempt to launch a multiplant nuclear power program; Paul Joskow, the MIT economics professor who foresaw a restructured and competitive electric power industry; Enron’s Ken Lay, master of political influence and market-rigging; Amory Lovins, a pioneer proponent of sustainable power; and Jim Rogers, head of Duke Energy, a giant coal-fired utility threatened by decarbonization. Lambert tells how Insull built an empire in a regulatory vacuum and how the government entered the electricity marketplace by making cheap hydropower available through the TVA. He describes the failed overreach of the BPA, the rise of competitive electricity markets, Enron’s market manipulation, Lovins’ radical vision of a decentralized industry powered by renewables, and Rogers’ remarkable effort to influence cap-and-trade legislation. Lambert shows how the power industry has sought to use regulatory change to preserve or secure market dominance and how rogue players have gamed imperfectly restructured electricity markets. Integrating regulation and competition in this industry has proven a difficult experiment.

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    The Power Brokers by Jeremiah D. Lambert

    The Power Brokers

    11.3 hrs • 9/4/15 • Unabridged
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  4. 6.2 hrs • 2/24/2015 • Unabridged

    For decades, environmentalists have told us that using fossil fuels is a self-destructive addiction that will destroy our planet. Yet by every measure of human well-being, from life expectancy to clean water to climate safety, life has been getting better and better. How can this be? The explanation is that we usually hear only one side of the story. We’re taught to think only of the negatives of fossil fuels, their risks and side effects, but not their positives—their unique ability to provide cheap, reliable energy for a world of seven billion people. And the moral significance of cheap, reliable energy is woefully underrated. Energy is our ability to improve every single aspect of life, whether economic or environmental. If we look at the big picture of fossil fuels compared with the alternatives, the overall impact of using fossil fuels is to make the world a far better place. We are morally obligated to use more fossil fuels for the sake of our economy and our environment.

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    The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels

    6.2 hrs • 2/24/15 • Unabridged
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  5. 10.8 hrs • 2/5/2015 • Unabridged

    A Soul of the New Machine for our time, a gripping account of invention, commerce, and duplicity in the age of technology A worldwide race is on to perfect the next engine of economic growth, the advanced lithium-ion battery. It will power the electric car, relieve global warming, and catapult the winner into a new era of economic and political mastery. Can the United States win? Steve LeVine was granted unprecedented access to a secret federal laboratory outside Chicago, where a group of geniuses is trying to solve this next monumental task of physics. But these scientists—almost all foreign born—are not alone. With so much at stake, researchers in Japan, South Korea, and China are in the same pursuit. The drama intensifies when a Silicon Valley start-up licenses the federal laboratory’s signature invention with the aim of a blockbuster sale to the world’s biggest carmakers. The Powerhouse is a real-time, two-year thrilling account of big invention, big commercialization, and big deception. It exposes the layers of competition and ambition, aspiration and disappointment behind this great turning point in the history of technology.

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    The Powerhouse

    10.8 hrs • 2/5/15 • Unabridged
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  6. 9.3 hrs • 6/1/2014 • Unabridged

    In the face of today’s environmental and economic challenges, doomsayers preach that the only way to stave off disaster is for humans to reverse course: to deindustrialize, relocalize, ban the use of modern energy sources, and forswear prosperity. But in this provocative and optimistic rebuke to the catastrophists, Robert Bryce shows how innovation and the inexorable human desire to make things Smaller Faster Lighter Denser Cheaper is providing consumers with cheaper and more abundant energy, faster computing, lighter vehicles, and myriad other goods. That same desire is fostering unprecedented prosperity, greater liberty, and, yes, better environmental protection. Utilizing on-the-ground reporting from Ottawa to Panama City and Pittsburgh to Bakersfield, Bryce shows how we have, for centuries, been pushing for smaller faster solutions to our problems. From the vacuum tube, mass-produced fertilizer, and the printing press to mobile phones, nanotech, and advanced drill rigs, Bryce demonstrates how cutting-edge companies and breakthrough technologies have created a world in which people are living longer, freer, healthier lives than at any time in human history. The push toward Smaller Faster Lighter Denser Cheaper is happening across multiple sectors. Bryce profiles innovative individuals and companies, from long-established ones like Ford and Intel to upstarts like Aquion Energy and Khan Academy. And he zeroes in on the energy industry, proving that the future belongs to the high power density sources that can provide the enormous quantities of energy the world demands. The tools we need to save the planet aren’t to be found in the technologies or lifestyles of the past. Nor must we sacrifice prosperity and human progress to ensure our survival. The catastrophists have been wrong since the days of Thomas Malthus. This is the time to embrace the innovators and businesses all over the world who are making things Smaller Faster Lighter Denser Cheaper.

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    Smaller Faster Lighter Denser Cheaper

    9.3 hrs • 6/1/14 • Unabridged
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  7. 11.4 hrs • 4/8/2014 • Unabridged

    An award-winning journalist and Pulitzer Prize finalist offers an insightful, no-holds-barred exploration of today’s most controversial yet promising new energy technology: fracking.  Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is the process of injecting fluid into the ground at extremely high pressure in order to fracture shale rocks and release the oil and natural gas inside. It has been the subject of three major films, countless news articles, and has become a hotly contested topic both for its environmental impact and its positive effect on the economy and job creation. In The Boom, Russell Gold examines both sides of the arguments and illuminates the truth of this frequently misunderstood technology.  It is a thrilling journey filled with memorable and colorful characters: a green-minded Texas oilman who created the first modern frack; an Oklahoman natural gas empire-builder who gave the world an enormous new supply of energy but was brought down by his own success; and a cast of many. Gold melds his natural gift for engaging, in-depth storytelling and reportage with his insight into the energy industry to bring to life the fascinating history of how this major new source is changing the way we use energy. The Boom is not simply the story of fracking, it is the compelling and thought-provoking story of the modern global economy and how the United States—and the world—have been forever changed.

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    The Boom

    11.4 hrs • 4/8/14 • Unabridged
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  8. 15.2 hrs • 11/1/2013 • Unabridged

    The riveting, untold story of the men who are transforming global energy In five years, the United States has seen a historic burst of oil and natural gas production, easing our insatiable hunger for energy. A new drilling process called fracking has made us the world’s fastest growing energy power, on track to pass Saudi Arabia by 2020. But despite headlines and controversy, no previous book has shown how the revolution really happened. The Frackers tells the dramatic tale of how a group of ambitious and headstrong wildcatters ignored the ridicule of experts and derision of colleagues to pursue massive, long-overlooked deposits. Against all odds, they changed the world—and made astonishing fortunes in the process. Zuckerman’s exclusive access enabled him to get close to men like George Mitchell, who developed a new way to drill for gas in shale rock; Harold Hamm, who discovered so much oil he’s now worth more than the estate of Steve Jobs; and Aubrey McClendon, who lost more than $2 billion on a misguided gambit. Zuckerman shows how the frackers are now using their wealth to shake up Hollywood, education, politics, sports, and other fields, much like the Rockefellers and Gettys before them. He also explores the debate over the environmental risks of fracking, and whether those risks are worth it for the United States to achieve energy independence and for the rest of the world to follow.

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    The Frackers

    15.2 hrs • 11/1/13 • Unabridged
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  9. 4.8 hrs • 5/28/2013 • Unabridged

    Charles R. Morris’ The Trillion Dollar Meltdown was the first book to warn of the impending financial crash in all its horrific scale and speed. Now, with Comeback, Morris reveals that the United States is on the brink of a strong recovery that could last for twenty years or more. The great economic boom times in American history have come because of fortuitous discoveries. Natural resources (coal first, then oil) fueled vast economic and industrial expansions, which in turn helped create and supply new markets. The last genuine economic game changer was the technology boom of the 1990s, which gave the US a global competitive advantage based on electronics and silicon. One of the first writers and analysts in the US to predict that the tech boom would lead to a period of sustained economic growth was Charles Morris. In defiance of the recessionary times, he saw the coming boom. Now, in 2013, he sees the threshold of another. This time the gift is natural gas. The amount and distribution of gas in American shale is so vast that it has the potential to transform the manufacturing economy, creating jobs across the country, and requiring a new infrastructure that will benefit the nation as a whole. Because of fracking, jobs that once would have been outsourced abroad will return home, America can become a net exporter of energy, and cheap energy will provide the opportunity for innovation and competition. In light of this new opportunity, and other complementary developments Morris explores in this audiobook, the US ought to be approaching the future with a robust self-confidence it has not experienced for some time. But we also could fumble it away. The gold-rush style of shale boom companies does not make them good neighbors. A counter-reaction could put their industry, and the new era of national prosperity, at risk. We also have a political system that has the capacity to spoil the benefits of this huge boon. If the wealth locked in the continental shelf is not shared for the general economic good, but is instead exploited in short-term profiteering, then many of the opportunities that exist will be choked off by a few very rich corporations. Managing the vast store of cheap energy is going to become a defining political challenge in the years ahead. At the threshold of a thrilling opportunity, Morris is a brilliantly perceptive guide.

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    Comeback

    4.8 hrs • 5/28/13 • Unabridged
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  10. 8.6 hrs • 7/15/2012 • Unabridged

    From the author who brought you the massive New York Times bestseller Bringing Down the House, this is the startling rags-to-riches story of an Italian-American kid from the streets of Brooklyn who claws his way into the wild, frenetic world of the oil exchange. After conquering the hallowed halls of Harvard Business School, he enters the testosterone-laced warrens of the Merc Exchange, the asylumlike oil exchange located in lower Manhattan. A place where billions of dollars trade hands every week, the Merc is like a casino on crack, where former garbagemen become millionaires overnight and where fistfights break out on the trading floor. This ordinary kid has traded Brooklyn for the gold-lined hotel palaces of Dubai. He keeps company on the decks of private yachts in Monte Carlo—teeming with half-naked girls flown in by Saudi sheiks—and makes deals in the dangerous back alleys of Beijing. But the Merc is just a starting place. Taken under the wing of another young gun and partnering with a mysterious young Muslim, the kid embarks on a dangerous adventure to revolutionize the oil trading industry—and, along with it, the world. Rigged is the explicit, exclusive, true story behind the headlines that dominate the world stage.

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    Rigged

    8.6 hrs • 7/15/12 • Unabridged
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  11. 16.6 hrs • 7/15/2012 • Unabridged

    They were a band of outsiders unable to get jobs with New York’s gilded financial establishment. They would go on to corner the world’s multitrillion-dollar oil market, reaping unimaginable riches while bringing the economy to its knees. Meet the self-anointed kings of the New York Mercantile Exchange. In some ways, they are everything you would expect them to be: a secretive, members-only club of men and women who live lavish lifestyles; cavort with politicians, strippers, and celebrities; and blissfully jacked up oil prices to nearly $150 a barrel while profiting off the misery of the working class. In other ways, they are nothing you can imagine: many come from working-class families themselves. The progeny of Jewish, Irish, and Italian immigrants who escaped war-torn Europe, they take pride in flagrantly spurning Wall Street. Under the thumb of an all-powerful international oil cartel, the energy market had long eluded the grasp of America’s hungry capitalists. Neither the oil royalty of Houston nor the titans of Wall Street had ever succeeded in fully wresting away control. But facing extinction, the rough-and-tumble traders of Nymex—led by the reluctant son of a produce merchant—went after this Goliath and won, creating the world’s first free oil market and minting billions in the process. Their stunning journey from poverty to prosperity belies the brutal and violent history that is their legacy. For the first time, The Asylum unmasks the oil market’s self-described “inmates” in all their unscripted and dysfunctional glory: the happily married father from Long Island whose lust for money and power was exceeded only by his taste for cruel pranks; the Italian kung fu–fighting gasoline trader whose ferocity in the trading pits earned him countless millions; the cheerful Nazi hunter who traded quietly by day; and the Irish-born femme fatale who outsmarted all but one of the exchange’s chairmen—the Hungarian ÉmigrÉ who, try as he might, could do nothing to rein in the oil market’s unruly inhabitants. From the treacherous boardroom schemes to the hookers and blow of the trading pits; from the repeat terrorist attacks and FBI stings to the grand alliances and outrageous fortunes that brought the global economy to the brink, The Asylum ventures deep into the belly of the beast, revealing how raw ambition and the endless quest for wealth can change the very nature of both man and market. Showcasing seven years of research and hundreds of hours of interviews, Leah McGrath Goodman reveals what really happened behind the scenes as oil prices topped out and what choice the traders ultimately made when forced to choose between their longtime brotherhood and their precious oil monopoly.

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    The Asylum

    16.6 hrs • 7/15/12 • Unabridged
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  12. 24.4 hrs • 5/1/2012 • Unabridged

    Steve Coll investigates the largest and most powerful private corporation in the United States, revealing the true extent of its power. ExxonMobil’s annual revenues are larger than the economic activity in the great majority of countries. In many of the countries where it conducts business, ExxonMobil’s sway over politics and security is greater than that of the United States embassy. In Washington, ExxonMobil spends more money lobbying Congress and the White House than almost any other corporation. Yet despite its outsized influence, it is a black box. Private Empire pulls back the curtain, tracking the corporation’s recent history and its central role on the world stage, beginning with the Exxon Valdez accident in 1989 and leading to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. The action spans the globe, moving from Moscow, to impoverished African capitals, Indonesia, and elsewhere in heart-stopping scenes that feature kidnapping cases, civil wars, and high-stakes struggles at the Kremlin. At home, Coll goes inside ExxonMobil’s K Street office and corporation headquarters in Irving, Texas, where top executives in the “God Pod” (as employees call it) oversee an extraordinary corporate culture of discipline and secrecy. The narrative is driven by larger than life characters, including corporate legend Lee “Iron Ass” Raymond, ExxonMobil’s chief executive until 2005. A close friend of Dick Cheney’s, Raymond was both the most successful and effective oil executive of his era and an unabashed skeptic about climate change and government regulation. This position proved difficult to maintain in the face of new science and political change and Raymond’s successor, current ExxonMobil chief executive Rex Tillerson, broke with Raymond’s programs in an effort to reset ExxonMobil’s public image. The larger cast includes countless world leaders, plutocrats, dictators, guerrillas, and corporate scientists who are part of ExxonMobil’s colossal story. The first hard-hitting examination of ExxonMobil, Private Empire is the masterful result of Coll’s indefatigable reporting. He draws here on more than four hundred interviews; field reporting from the halls of Congress to the oil-laden swamps of the Niger Delta; more than one thousand pages of previously classified US documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act; heretofore unexamined court records; and many other sources. A penetrating, news breaking study, Private Empire is a defining portrait of ExxonMobil and the place of Big Oil in American politics and foreign policy.

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    Private Empire

    24.4 hrs • 5/1/12 • Unabridged
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  13. 0 reviews 0 5 4.5 4 out of 5 stars 4.5/5
    28.8 hrs • 9/20/2011 • Unabridged

    In this gripping account of the quest for the energy that our world needs, Daniel Yergin continues the riveting story begun in his Pulitzer Prize–winning book The Prize.  A master storyteller as well as a leading energy expert, Yergin shows us how energy is an engine of global political and economic change. From the jammed streets of Beijing to the shores of the Caspian Sea, from the conflicts in the Mideast to Capitol Hill and Silicon Valley, Yergin takes us into the decisions that are shaping our future. The drama of oil—the struggle for access, the battle for control, the insecurity of supply, the consequences of use, its impact on the global economy, and the geopolitics that dominate it—continues to profoundly affect our world. Yergin tells the inside stories of the oil market and the surge in oil prices, the race to control the resources of the former Soviet empire, and the massive mergers that transformed the landscape of world oil. He tackles the toughest questions: Will we run out of oil? Are China and the United States destined to come into conflict over oil? How will a turbulent Middle East affect the future of oil supply? The Quest presents an extraordinary range of characters and dramatic stories that illustrate the principles that will shape a robust and flexible energy security system for the decades to come. Energy is humbling in its scope, but our future requires that we deeply understand this global quest that is truly reshaping our world.

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    The Quest

    28.8 hrs • 9/20/11 • Unabridged
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  14. 4.4 hrs • 10/15/2010 • Unabridged

    Deepwater Horizon was supposed to be the cutting edge of energy exploration: drilling five thousand feet below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico, the $560 million rig would be indispensable in helping to solve the ongoing energy crisis. Then, on April 20, 2010, BP’s dismal safety record came home to roost. An explosion followed by a massive fireball resulted in eleven lives lost, the sinking of the rig, and the release of millions of barrels of crude oil into one of the world’s prime fishing grounds: tens of millions of barrels suffocate the Gulf’s waters, and the resultant slick covers 2,500 square miles. Wildlife throughout the region is devastated, and so is the human community dependent on harvesting the area’s resources. Now, OR Books has joined with the Natural Resources Defense Council to release In Deep Water, the first book to appear on this environmental catastrophe, the largest offshore spill in American history. Written by Peter Lehner, executive director of the NRDC, together with Bob Deans, this book provides a brief account of the disaster as well as the policy failures that caused it––and lays out a blueprint to avoid similar catastrophes in the future.

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    In Deep Water by Peter Lehner

    In Deep Water

    By Peter Lehner, with Bob Deans
    Read by Tom Weiner
    4.4 hrs • 10/15/10 • Unabridged
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  15. 22.2 hrs • 1/27/2009 • Unabridged

    Bestselling author Bryan Burrough reveals how four Texas oil tycoons transformed America. Rising from humble beginnings through hard work and shrewd dealings, they shifted the balance of power in American politics. While hobnobbing with movie stars and presidents, the Big Rich also created the legend of the swaggering Texas oilman with island hideaways and sprawling ranches.

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    The Big Rich

    22.2 hrs • 1/27/09 • Unabridged
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  16. 0 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5
    6.5 hrs • 5/1/2008 • Unabridged

    Long before there was VHS versus Betamax, Windows versus Macintosh, or Blu-Ray versus HD-DVD, the first and nastiest standards war was fought between alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC). AC/DC tells the little-known story of how Thomas Edison bet wrong in the fierce war between supporters of alternating current and direct current. The savagery of this electrical battle can hardly be imagined today. The showdown between AC and DC began as a rather straightforward conflict between technical standards, a battle of competing methods to deliver essentially the same product, electricity. But the skirmish soon metastasized into something bigger and darker. In the AC/DC battle, the worst aspects of human nature somehow got caught up in the wires: a silent, deadly flow of arrogance, vanity, and cruelty. Following the path of least resistance, the war of currents soon settled around the most primal of human emotions: fear. AC/DC serves as an object lesson in bad business strategy and poor decision making. Edison’s inability to see his mistake was a key factor in his loss of control over the “operating system” for his future inventions—not to mention the company he founded, which would later become General Electric. The battle over whether alternating or direct current would be the standard for transmitting electricity around the world changed the lives of billions of people, shaped the modern technological age, and set the stage for all standards wars to follow. Today’s Digital Age wizards can take lessons from Edison’s fierce battle: control an invention’s technical standard and you control the market.

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    AC/DC by Tom McNichol

    AC/DC

    6.5 hrs • 5/1/08 • Unabridged
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